Some time ago HM Revenue and Customs announced that a change would be required to Gift Aid declarations signed by donors, but it was not well publicised and is now urgent. As from 1st January 2013 a new form of declaration is required from new donors for their donations to be eligible for reclamation of tax under Gift Aid. New donors to charities must now confirm that they will pay enough Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax in a year to cover all donations they intend to make that year and that they understand that other taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify. However, charities do not need to ask existing donors with enduring declarations to fill in new declarations unless they wish to do so.

Model Gift Aid declarations are to be found on the HMRC website page Gift Aid declarations. The model forms do not have to be used, but declarations provided by charities for their new donors must incorporate the required wording. As before, the forms can be both retrospective and cover all future donations to the charity. Thus ringing societies which claim Gift Aid on donations must now ensure that the new form of declaration is issued to all new donors.

Now for some good news on Gift Aid: the Small Charities Donations Bill currently before Parliament will, if enacted, permit charities to claim Gift Aid on individual donations of up to £20 without the need for Gift Aid declarations, subject to a maximum amount of £5,000 per charity per year. To be eligible a charity must have been in existence for at least two years and have made Gift Aid claims in at least two of the previous four years. The target date for implementation of this new scheme is 6 April 2013. Thus ringing societies which qualify will, for example, be able to claim Gift Aid on collections at meetings. The Central Council’s Bell Restoration Committee will keep an eye on this and report further in due course.

for the CC Bell Restoration Committee

BB BellBoard
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers